The logic (or lack thereof) behind judge's ruling on Oregon magazine ban

The logic (or lack thereof) behind judge's ruling on Oregon magazine ban
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Oregon’s Measure 114 is all kinds of suck rolled up into a neat little anti-gun ball. It’s a lot of things and none of them are particularly good.

However, there is a good chance that many of the measures won’t be laws all that long because they’ll be struck down.

The magazine ban should be one example of that. However, according to one judge, it may just end up being ruled as constitutional.

Yes, really.

A state judge in Oregon this week issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the enforcement of new gun restrictions that were scheduled to take effect today. At issue is Measure 114, which Oregon voters narrowly approved last month. The initiative, which has provoked several lawsuits in state and federal court, requires permits to buy firearms and bans magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.

U.S. District Judge Karin Immergut, by contrast, seems inclined to think that the magazine limit does not implicate the Second Amendment at all. And if it does, she said in two orders issued the same day that Raschio blocked Measure 114, it does not amount to the sort of constitutional violation that would justify a TRO based on the evidence presented so far. Immergut’s reasoning is reminiscent of the highly deferential approach to gun control laws that Bruen was supposed to remedy.

Bruen unambiguously rejected the “two-step” analysis that many courts had applied in upholding gun control laws. The first step asked whether the challenged law affected conduct covered by the Second Amendment, while the second step weighed that imposition against the law’s purported public safety benefits. That was “one step too many,” the Court said in Bruen: “When the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct. The government must then justify its regulation by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

Honestly, I can’t understand just how she figures it’s not a violation of the Constitution except by completely ignoring Bruen.

Bruen set out a text and history approach. In order for a gun control law to pass constitutional muster, it must be established that it’s similar to some other kind of arms control law from around the time of the Constitution’s passing.

And there is no parallel that can be linked to a magazine ban.

So the only possible reason for the judge here to decide such a ban isn’t an infringement is that she just decided to reject Bruen entirely.

That’s a problem.

Yet the issue becomes just how big of a problem this turns out to be, and I’m not really sure. It seems clear to me that the Court of Appeals should be able to look at this and recognize the faulty reasoning and reverse the ruling. They may not want to, mind you, but Bruen is clear.

As a result, the magazine ban should not stand.

However, the magazine ban should already be on its last limb as it is. Instead, we’ve got a federal judge pretending that it’s completely consistent with current jurisprudence.

It’s insane.